Gadget Show Broadband Speed Test - Not Good Enough!

How ironic. As part of their 'Gadget Show Truth' campaign, the Gadget Show on Five ran a piece this evening (20:45, 12 November 2007) on how badly ISP speed ratings seemed to compare to the 8Mbps we may be able to get (in theory at least). They quoted an URL to go to - to test your broadband connection speed and enter the results into a giant consumer survey. Well, all I saw was a giant 'Service Unavailable' message. Clearly the site doesn't have enough bandwidth or computing power of its own.

When the page did eventually load, the Broadband Speed Test was still completely unavailable.

Quite how you can run a broadband speed test on a site that doesn't even respond is a bit of a mystery to me!

When I finally got the test screen to appear, it featured a speed tester from, and the test results gave me a download speed of 769kbps and an upload speed of 242kbps. I'd run a different speed test a few minutes earlier (the Facebook Broadband Speed Challenge) and recorded a download speed of 4753kbps. When I've run these tests previously on this internet connection it has always been above 4Mbps, so I find the offering entirely implausible. When I tried to run the test again, it just sat there, with status 'Connecting to'.... no good at all!

Which Broadband ISP?

Have a look at my comprehensive list of broadband ISPs which ranks providers according to Speed, Reliability and Customer Service.

Note The Five.TV Broadband Speed campaign is now powered by ThinkBroadband. How fast is your broadband? Run the Test!.


by ollie on 13 September 2011
The sad thing is, i`m in Devon and my connection speed is so slow i`m lucky if i get 1/10th of a MB (i get roughly 80 KB/s)!
by Rocky Gomez on 28 November 2010
Install some network tools and look what the tests actually do then read a good book on statistical quality and another on the modern Internet.

It seems even web developers don't get the basics of how the network is strung together from the browser to the web server and the myriad components in between.

by John Swindells on 28 November 2010
This is interesting rhetoric, but the reality is that non-technical people can't resort to statistical analysis to see whether they're getting a decent connection. A single test doesn't prove anything of course; common sense and periodic testing (using a reliable test configuration) are the minimum requirements.
by david dawson on 21 October 2010
I ran 2 tests the first said I was only getting 3 meg. The second I was getting 5.3 which is right. Tell Me
by John Swindells on 21 October 2010
Broadband speed tests can vary quite a lot from one test run to the next, because there are lots of factors (external to the test itself) which play a part. These are things like other network activity through your Internet connection, general Internet latency, and the performance of the remote website running the test.

The best thing is to run it 3 times and ignore the 'most different' reading.

by Billy the Kid on 06 September 2010
Trust nobody in this wild wild web!
by John Hind on 14 March 2008
Tiscali download time was only 1.92 very poor as they boast up to 8
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